Authors’ Club Best First Novel 2014: The Shortlist

29th Apr 2014

Authors' Club Best First Novel 2014: The Shortlist
The Authors' Club has been established for over 120 years, so it's nice to see that its prize lists have shed the organisation's patriarchal roots

The Club’s annual award for Best First Novel showcased a longlist with a really broad collection of debuts, including post-punk singer-cum-Vampire Queen, Rosie Garland and FBS favourite, Beatrice Hitchman for Petite Mort

Hooray for gender parity!Last night, the nominated twelve were whittled down to a beautifully balanced six, with three women authors and three men. Hooray for gender parity!

Lucy Cruickshanks makes the shortlist for The Trader of Saigon, set in the ruthless world of post-civil war Vietnam, where the lives of a failing businessman, an impoverished girl from Hanoi and a trader of women collide.

Inaugural winner of the Goldsmiths Prize and general nominee-extraordinaire, Eimear McBride finds herself on another shortlist with form-bending novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.

They are both joined by Anthea Nicholson, whose debut, The Banner of the Passing Clouds is narrated by Iosif Dzhugashvili, who believes that Stalin, recently deceased, has taken up residency in his body.

Chair of the judges, Suzi Feay promised that the six finalists, chosen by a panel of Club members, offered “Fiendish twists, harrowing ordeals, troubled upbringings, tough choices, heartlifting epiphanies and irrepressible humour”.

You can judge this for yourself on 29th May when the shortlisted authors will be reading extracts of their novels in Waterstones on Gower Street. Check out the full list here.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on 3rd June, but in the meantime, tell us what you think of the nominees in the comments below.